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Dickson Says His Shoes ‘ll Be Too Big For His Successor, Preaches Patriotism

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Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson, has said he would be leaving behind a very big shoes for his successor after eight years of sustained efforts to develop the state.

A statement by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Soriwei Fidelis quoted Dickson as saying this while speaking with newsmen shortly after commissioning the Bayelsa Golf Course at the Tourism Island in Yenagoa.

According to the governor, the Restoration Government under his leadership had laid a solid foundation for any patriotic leadership to further the developmental aspirations of the state.

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He said the state needed concentrated-developmental action having been created from the most deprived and least developed part of old Rivers State.

The governor who listed some of his administration’s big ticket projects to include the Bayelsa International Airport, the 18-hole Golf Course adjudged by many as one of the best in the country, the Polo Club, among many others in education, health, agriculture, expressed the confidence that posterity would be fair to him.

This is the first time we are having a golf course, so when some governors who have everything built for them by Federal Government and by the whole country, over hundred years, talk, they don’t seem to understand what we are struggling to do here.

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“My advice to the incoming government will be to nurture and support these dreams. These are not dreams that ordinary people can immediately relate with. So I want to tell those coming behind, I have tried my best; if there are things they don’t understand, of course I will be available to explain and advise; it’s not ordinary when you see a governor converting a building he could have stayed with his family and turn it to a hotel, and that has been done”, he added.

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Accroding to the governor, his administration has raised the bar of performance for succeeding governments by making deliberate, painstaking sacrifices and ambitious investments in the interest of the state.

He said virtually all the ambitious projects in the state were initiated and completed by his administration unlike what obtains in other states which were created earlier and developed by the Federal Government.

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Dickson restated the need for the incoming government to make continuity and patriotism its watchword with a view to moving the state forward.

Underscoring the peculiarities of Bayelsa, the Governor expressed satisfaction with his achievements in office, noting, however, that no government could completely tackle the development needs of a state or country in four or eight years.

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Dickson who decried the long period of neglect the state suffered in the hands of the Federal Government, promised to continually contribute towards the common good of the state.

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PHOTO: File

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Court Orders Seizure Of $4.7m, N830bn, Mansions, Others Linked To Ex-CBN Gov, Emefiele

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A Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, has ordered the interim forfeiture of $4,719,054, N830,875,611, and several property linked to the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.

The order was issued on Friday, by Justice Yellim Bogoro after an ex-parte motion by EFCC counsel Bilkisu Buhari and C.C. Chineye.

The forfeited funds, held in various banks, were linked to Omoile Anita Joy, Deep Blue Energy Service Limited, Exactquote Bureau De Change Ltd, Lipam Investment Services Limited, Tatler Services Limited, Rosajul Global Resources Ltd, and TIL Communication Nigeria Ltd.

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Emefiele’s properties forfeited to the federal government include; 94 Units of 11 Storey building under Construction at 2, Otunba Elegushi 2nd Avenue (Formerly Club) Road, iKoyi, Lagos; AM Plaza, 11 Story Office Space, Situate on 1E, Otunba Adedoyin Crescent, Lekki Peninsula Scheme 1, Lagos; Imore Industrial Park 1, Esa Street, Imoore Land purchased with (Deep Bive Industrial Town, Oriade LCDA, Amuwo Odofin LGA, Lagos; Mitrewood and Tatler Warehouse (Furniture Plant at Bogije) near Elemoro Lagos, Owolomi Village, Ibeju-Lekki LGA, Lagos and 2 properties purchased from Chevron Nigeria, Closed PFA Fund, Block B.Lot.Twin Completed Property Lakes Estate. Lekki, Lagos.

Others include; One plot measuring 1,038.069 sqm, at Lekki Foreshore Estate Scheme, Block A, Plot 4, Foreshore Estate, Eti-Osa, LGA; Estate located at 100, Cottonwood Coppel Texas Drive, Coppel, Texas, Owned by Lipam investment Services; a Land at 1, Bunmi Owulude Street, (Maruwa), Lekki Phase 1, Lagos and a Property Situate on 8, Bayo Kuku Road, lkoyi Lagos.

The EFCC had sought an interim forfeiture of the monies and properties under Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006, Section 44(2)(b) of the Constitution, and the court’s inherent jurisdiction.

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Specifically, the anti-graft agency requested “an interim order forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria the funds held in the accounts listed in Schedule ‘A,’ which are reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.”

“An Interim order forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria Properties provided in 2nd Schedule ‘B’ which are proceeds of unlawful activities.

“An Order directing the publication In any National Newspaper, the interim order under reliefs 1-2 above, for anyone who Is interested in the properties and funds sought to be forfeited to appear before this Honourable Court to show cause within 14 days why the final order of forfeiture of the said properties and funds should not be made in favour of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

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In granting the ex-parte motion, Justice Bogoro after he had taken submission of the EFCC’s counsel held; “I have listened to the submission of the applicant’s counsel and also perused the motion just moved, together with the affidavit in support.”

The case was, however, adjourned to July 2, 2024, for the motion for final forfeiture.

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BREAKING: Tribunal Upholds Uzodinma’s Election As Imo Governor

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The Imo State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal on Friday upheld the election of Hope Uzodimma of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as Imo State governor.

The tribunal, which gave its ruling in Abuja, also dismissed the petition of the Labour Party, LP, and its governorship candidate, Athan Achonu.

In a unanimous decision delivered by Justice Oluyemi Akintan-Osadebay, the three-man panel of the tribunal held that Uzodimma’s election as Imo State governor complied substantially with the provisions of the Electoral Act.

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The tribunal further held that the Labour Party in its petition failed to prove the allegation of over-voting and non-compliance to the Electoral Act.

Details later.

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Court Declines MultiChoice’s Plea To Stop NBC From Auditing Company’s Account

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A Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday, refused to grant an application filed by MultiChoice Nigeria Ltd, seeking an interim order restraining the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) from requesting any financial, accounting, or tax documents from them.

Justice James Omotosho, in a ruling on the ex-parte motion moved by the applicant’s counsel, Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, rather directed all parties, in the interest of justice, not to take any step that could make the outcome of the suit nugatory.

Although the ruling was delivered on Wednesday, its certified true copy was sighted on Friday.

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The ex-parte order for Interim Injunction dated 8th day of May 2024 and filed 16th day of May, 2024 is hereby refused,” he declared.

Justice Omotosho then adjourned the matter until May 30 for a hearing of the motion on notice.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that MultiChoice Nigeria Limited and Details Nigeria Limited, a provider of the subscription-based digital terrestrial television service, known as GOtv, are 1st and 2nd applicants.

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In the ex-parte motion marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/652/2024 dated May 8 and filed May 16 by their lawyer, they sued NBC as sole respondent.

The applicants sought three reliefs, including an order of interim injunction, restraining NBC from carrying out any investigations of the companies for the purposes of determining their annual income or NBC levy for the years between 2014 and 2024 pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

They sought an order of interim injunction restraining the NBC from requesting, demanding and or receiving any financial, accounting or tax documents from the companies other than the annual audited accounts of the companies already submitted to the commission.

They said this was in pursuant to Section 2 (10) (b) of the NBC Code 6th Edition for the purposes of determining her remittance of NBC levy for the 2014 to 2024 years of account pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

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They equally prayed an order of interim injunction restraining the commission from sanctioning, fining or suspending the companies’ license pursuant to the threats contained in its letter dated April 29 to them, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

In the affidavit deposed to by the companies’ Head of Compliance, Gozie Onumonu, he averred that the firms were mandated under the various NBC Codes to pay a certain percentage of their income as annual NBC levy to the respondent.

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He said that the current code; NBC Code 6th Edition, provides for 2.5% of the income of a broadcaster to be paid to the respondent yearly as annual NBC levy while the erstwhile code which was amended in 2019 provides for 1.5% of the income of a broadcaster to be paid to the defendant yearly as annual levy.

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He claimed that the companies had never defaulted in paying their annual levy to the commission.

“Income as provided by the NBC Code 6th Edition is not defined neither is it defined in any other previous editions nor in the NBC Act 2004.

“As a result of the lack of definition of what an income is, there was a dispute between the applicants and the respondent in the year 2014 whether income should be turnover or revenue minus cost of production.

“After due negotiations, meetings, etc., between the applicants and the respondent, it was agreed by the applicants and respondent that income should be revenue minus cost of production.

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“In the year 2014, when the applicants subtracted the cost of production from their revenue in order to arrive at the then 1.5 per cent required of the applicants under the NBC Code 5th Edition, what was left for the applicants to pay to the defendant in compliance with the 1.5% requirement of the NBC Code 5th Edition was negligible.

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“The amount the respondent would have been entitled to, from the applicants as annual NBC levy between 2014 to 2019 if the applicants were to strictly pay the 1.5% annual NBC levy provided by the 5th Edition of the Code was small and the respondent might not be able to carry out its administrative functions in view of its financial needs.

“Specifically, in the year 2014 and 2015, the amount that would have been due to the defendant as 1.5% of the annual income of the 1st applicant was N2.1 million (N2,167,254)

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“As a result, the respondent beseeched the applicants to consent to the payment of a fixed sum of N500 million (N500,000,000) as annual levy for the applicants’ licence period of 2014 to 2019 the sum of which was far more than what the plaintiffs were supposed to be paying to the respondent if the applicants were to pay only the 1.5 per cent of their annual income as provided by the NBC Code.

“For the years 2014 to 2019 that the respondent wants to carry out the investigation to verify whether the applicants paid up to 2.5% of their annual incomes as annual NBC levy, the operational NBC Code then was the NBC Code, 5th Edition and it requires broadcaster to pay 1.5% of their annual incomes as annual levy,” he said.

Onumonu, who said the companies had already submitted a certified true copy of their audited account for the previous year(s) to NBC, said the commission was paid over N12 billion (N12, 490, 000, 0000) as annual levy from 2014 to date.

The officer described NBC’s action as an abuse of power, urging the court to grant their plea in the interest of justice.
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